Thursday, May 31, 2007

Everything in its time

Sometimes it feels like being stuck to the tar baby. Not enough time to read, not enough time to write, hardly enough time to think.

I only work part time; you'd think I'd have plenty of time for reading and writing, a bit of quiet contemplation now and then, perhaps an Om or two. Some times it just doesn't work out. The damn novel takes up more time than I have left.

Gotta clean the carport, put a new chain on the bike, pull broom in Arana Gulch, report that scofflaw down the streets who parks his fifth-wheel trailer on the corner. (Anarchy means no rulers, not no rules). Then there's bike committee meetings, letters to editors and politicians, and just keeping up with the daily, disgusting news.

It's tough.

I'll just have to buck up, count a wave or two, appreciate the pelicans flying by in wavering v's. Everything in its time.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Anti-capitalism, anti-state

One thing, perhaps the only thing that anarchists and socialists agree on is the necessity of working toward a society without capitalism and without the state. Both are seen as antithetical to an egalitarian society in which human beings can achieve maximum personal freedom.

The path(s) to this end differ between the two groups. Socialists see capitalism as the key social structure, insisting that in the absence of capitalism, the state will wither away.

Anarchists hold that it is the state that allows and supports capitalism, and that if the state is removed, capitalism cannot stand.

Both of these views jump from the present to a future society devoid of the state and capitalism and ignore the process of removing the state or doing away with capitalism. A wave of the social magic wand, poof, they're gone and the anarchist, or socialist society is secured.

Unfortunately for us in the present, living with the state and capitalism in full hegemonic control, we must work to achieve the society we envision. We must build the new society from scratch, by destroying the existing state and economic system, or by building the alternative alongside the dying remnants of the existing society.

In reality, inconvenient as it is, we cannot "destroy" the state any more than we can "get rid of" capitalism. These are social structures fully embedded in Western society that cannot be gotten rid of without destroying society as a whole, reducing all to chaos.

Furthermore, we cannot create an egalitarian society using oppressive measures, such as violent revolution. We cannot use the tools of the state to replace the state. If we violently take over the state, we become the violent state. Once initiated, a violent takeover cannot be set aside for a benign, nonviolent social structure.

Once the vacuum of power is filled, it cannot be emptied. We must do away with paths to power, not fill them with our own, however enlightened rulers.

Anarchy is no rulers. Not even our own rulers.

Weeks' Antiques will deal with actions we can take toward the new society. Here I will deal with the various theories of getting from here to there. Hayduke Ponders will deal with the philosophical/spiritual underlayment of action and theory.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A movement with no name

Pay very close attention to this article in Orion Magazine. This is the future. This is anarchism.

We've been looking for many years for The Revolution (TM), that will throw off the yoke of Capitalism, overthrow The State, end the oppression of The People and stop the Heartbreak of Psoriasis.

Meanwhile as we theorize, argue amongst ourselves, demonstrate in clever parades, write epic, thoughtful tomes, the revolution has been quietly assembling itself outside the glare of public notice.

That's the way anarchy works.

I've set up a Blog network, a Blogwork, that will follow various aspects of the revolution now occurring. It will bring together threads of the revolution and attempt to weave them into a broader overview. It will be incomplete, out of date, a poor shadow of what's really happening. It will be a start.

Hayduke Blogs will be the Dispatch Center, where it comes together. I will link here to other sites and other stories.

Hayduke Ponders will deal with the philosophical and "spiritual" aspects of the revolution, those innermost thoughts that we use to attempt to give meaning to the world around us.

Weeks' Antiques is about taking action to facilitate the change and spread the word. (A special prize for the first person to discover the literary reference of this blog's title)

Hayduke Bikes is about my personal anarchic solution to the transportation challenge.

As a starter, here's the first installment of Hayduke Ponders, the philosophy of Taoism that seems most relevant.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dominant Culture

I am completely out of step with the society in which I live.

I work at a local Public Radio station, allegedly a bastion of progressive thought. Today we aired a program about education, interviewing an "innovative" teacher who has become very popular because he teaches "relevant" subjects that address the "needs" of his students.

This teacher uses "money" in the classroom, having the students apply for "jobs" for which they are "paid." They "rent" their desks, and can save up money to buy other students' desks, for which they charge "rent." Status in the classroom is based on how much each student "owns."

The program made me so angry, I had to go outside for a walk.

No wonder we can never break the stranglehold of the dominant, capitalist, owner culture when it is constantly reinforced, by the state, in our children. How do we teach alternatives as effectively and as meaningfully as the status quo?

It's all about money. Teachers don't get as much money as CEOs, so teachers are valued less (chicken and egg). So teachers teach "relevant" subjects, to be more popular, to get more money.

It's a downward spiral.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Moving On

It's been some time since last I laid fingers to keyboard for this blog. Call it sloth, indolence, ennui.

It seems that Things can't get any worse, and they always do. The Circus in Washington, DC continues apace. No surprises there; 'twas ever thus. Human beings by the score die daily in Iraq, their ethnic origins obscured in death and dismemberment.

The Oval One seems to have sunk back into his cartoon exterior, riding out the inevitable decline to the next election. The Democrats may indeed take the next election, but then, what difference does it make. They're both charter members of the Money Party, no threat of Democracy suddenly overtaking them and putting the people back into power in this country.

The powerful fall, and they fail hard, if quickly. Others rise to take their place, interchangeable parts in a failing machine.

Meanwhile, on the local front, Things seem to be getting better, albeit slowly and with much dragging of feet. Deep furrows are plowed into the carpets of the local planning bodies as we drag them out of the 20th Century and into the new world of finite resources and climate change. Thanks to unswerving dedication to local organizing by the few, Progress is made.

Here on the Pacific Plate, Life is Just Right! I don't know why everyone doesn't live here, and I'm glad they don't. There's something to be said for astronomical housing prices and no manufacturing base. Just as congestion is our friend on the hiway, so too inflated house prices keep growth at bay.


Meanwhile, there's mourning doves to watch on the nest, cormorants to appreciate, waves to count, pelicans to admire.

Life goes on.

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate